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Agenda's Poll Picks

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Parent Issue
Month
November
Year
1992
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Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
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Agenda Publications
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In general, we don't llke most of the cholees that we have thls year. Usually ifs nothing personal against the candldates, but our political system is severely broken and the serious changes that are needed are not part of the discussion. When the president of General Motors can close factories in Flint or Ypsilantl, creating near ghosttowns and much human misery, and the president of the United States and all viable challengers consider it a private matter beyond the reach of public policy, lt is a time to quesüon the basic assumptions under which our country's politics are run. Good people who get involved In electoral politics and bear In mlnd that "politics Is the art of the possiblé," or who note that "it's no use to be right lf you can't be elected" end up wlth thelr good lntentlons amountlng to llttle of practical value. Others who rail agalnst the system and malntaln total "purity" by not votlng or stlcklng to thlrd partles end up creatlng nolse and little else. AGENDA Is Independent of any politlcal party. We tend to be furlous at the Republican Party and the right-wlng era of corruptlon, trickle-down economlcs, and war crimes that it has put us through. We tend to be unforgivlngof Democrats who went along for the rlde. We tend to be lrritated wlth little sects whose polltical appeal goes no farther than the fringes of society. Yet we also tend to vote. Our endorsements are of several types. In a few cases, we enthuslastlcally endorse candidates based on thelr great positive merits. In some instances, we see such negaüve aspects of candidates that we must strongly endorse their opponents, wlth whom we may or may not be lmpressed. Then there are candidates who by comparison have values whlch are closer to ours than thelr opponents. Flnally, some lncumbents have done well enough that we see no reason to replace them, even though we would have supported a good opponent. In unconstested races we have not endorsed anybody, although some of the best and worst candldates are running unopposed. With that, we consider: The Big Enchilada George Bush should not be allowed to get away with what he has done to thls country - not to mentlon what he has done to people In Panama, Iraq, gua and other places. An egobruising electlon defeat isn't nearly a severe enough payback, but ifs a good start. But what's the alternatlve? Ross Perot, with hls penchant for slcklng private eyes on people, Is living proof that the business sector Is a blgger threat to most people's personal liberty than Is the government. We'll pass up the chance to bring hls business practlces to the White House. The thlrd party candldates who appear on Mlchlgan's ballot for president are Irrelevant or worse. That leaves us with Sllck Wil(see POLL PICKS, page 8) (FROM PAGE ONE) lie. While we are not at all satisfïed with this Democratie nominee, we nevertheless urge people to vote for Bill Clinton and end the BushReagan nightmare. Come January, you may want tojoinusatthe protests at the Clinton inaugural. The Best Independent county commissioner candidate Corey Dolgon has an uphill battle against a powerful incumbent, but it's a righteous fight. When the cause has been peace, justice or the rights of the powerless against the powerful, Dolgon has always been there. A county which puts golf courses before housing for the homeless sorely needs his leadership. That the county went to court in an attempt to keep Corey Dolgon off of the ballot may have disrupted his campaign, but it also showed that some people have reason to fear the truth he represents. Ly nn Rivers was very good on the Ann Arbor school board, and will be good in the Michigan House of Representatives. The legislature's gain is, sad to say, the school board's loss. In the race for Ann Arbor's 15th District Court, Perry Bullard is the outstanding choice. His opponent Libby Pollard, who has her merits, emphasizes her courtroom experience as a prosecutor. To sit in the 15th District Court is to watch homeless people charged with the crime of trespassing at U-M. It is to see tenants almost always lose against landlords. All of this is in accordance with the law - which is why we believe that experience fïghting for justice is more important than time spent in courtrooms. Bullard's two decades in the legislature, where he has fought to make the legal system fairer for ordinary people, prove a commitment to justice that his opponent can't touch. Bill Ford is the peace candidate for U.S. Congress - he always has been, from the early days of Vietnam, through the Contra War, to the Gulf War. He has also been a strong supporter of labor and civil rights. Ann Arborites tired of Cari Pursell's representation have a chance to get in on a good thing that Ypsilanti residente have had for the past decade and downriver voters have had since 1965. Bill Roundtree of the Workers World Party, a small orthodox Marxist group, is running for state board of education. AGENDA does not endorse Workers World Party or its politics. However, Mr. Roundtree, an anti-war Vietnam veteran, has a long and distinguished record of activism that earns him our strong support on his personal merits. Better Than the Rest Incumbent Michigan Supreme Court justice Conrad Mallett, Jr. is challenged by GOP nominee Michael Talbot, whose campaign is explicitly anti-abortion and whose appeals to white racism are thinly-veiled. Talbot is the first major party Michigan Supreme Court nominee to get an "unqualifïed" rating from the Detroit Bar Association, the lawyers' group which has practiced before him the most. A defeat for Mallett will mean a far-right court which will profoundly affect Michigan law for the worse. In the race to replace county prosecutor Bill Delhey, the clear choice for people with any sense of fairness isBrian Mackie. His opponent, Lynwood Noah, is notorious for underhanded and unfair trial tactics, practices which have repeatedly led to mistrials or reversals by appeals courts that have in turn caused costly retrials. Running in the 52d state representative district, Lana Pollack's aide Mary Schroer is up against former GOP city councilmember Mark Ouimet. Ouimet represents such special, interests as the polluters' lobby, slumlords and rich people who want to shift their tax burden to others. The Rest Two incumbent county Republicans, sheriff Ron Schebil and clerk Peggy Haines, have done their jobs well enough that their challeng■ ers offer nothing better. Nobody has made a convincing argument that GOP county ,'treasurer Michael-Stimson should be replaced. The same can be said of incumbent Democratie drain commissioner Janis Bobrin We might have had a different opinión in any of these county -wide races had there been a better challenger. We are unhappy with our county commissioners. Some from whom we expected better, joined in a legal battle to shut down the Salvation City tent city protest. The commissioners unanimously supported measures which removed affordable housing from downtown Ann Arbor. While housing problems were ignored, the commissioners pursued a golfcourse sition. It's time to shake things up. Unfortunately, races for many seats are uncontested and the challengers for others offer little improvement. Fortunately, new districts and a few new faces offer somè hope. For county commissioners, we endorse newcomers Alma Smith (D-district 2); Carlos Acevedo (D-district 4); Barbara Bergman (Ddistrict 5); Judith Carol Walter (D-district 7); David Monforton (D-district 1 1); and Robert Oliver (R-district 14). We reluctantly endorse the re-election of Grace Shackman (D-district 9), and Ray Shultz (D-district 6), whose attempts to silence the Salvation City homeless protesters were unbecoming. We also endorse with some reluctance the re-election of Christina Montague (D-district 10). Montague has shown some concern for housing issues, but has. taken little initiative in her first term on the commission. U-M is the dominant local industry, whose regents directly affect the lives of many AGENDA readers. Yet where is the discussion of campus issues in the race for regent? The major party nominees for the governing boards of U-M, MSU and Wayne State are a collection of political hacks, some more forgettable than others. Consider as well the best known major party date for one of these positlons, Democratie U.S. Representative BobTraxler. Traxlerwants to be an MSU trustee, yet he has not told the voters anything of substance about his stands on university issues. We can not in good conscience endorse any of the incumbents, or for that matter, any of the major party candidates. Third party candidates and write-ins are available opüons for pro test votes for these positions. Nominations for our Washtenaw Community College (WCC) board are, unlike those for UM, MSU and Wayne, not made at state party conventions. That gives us somewhat better candidates. UAW activist Mark Race is our choice for the WCC board. For the "other" Michigan Supreme Court seat at stake this year, we prefer the Democratie nominee, appealsjudgeMarilyn Kelly, overthe heavily-favored incumbent Dorothy Comstock Riley. An upset victory for Kelly, coupled with a Mallet win, would oust the 4-3 GOP court majority and givé us a pro-choice state supreme court. We prefer Cynthia Diane Stephens for the Michigan Court of Appeals, as the more creative of two well-qualiüed candidates for the job. Kurtis T. Wilder has shown his competence as a Washtenaw County Circuit Court judge, and weighing all ofhis and his opponent's merits, we think that he should be retained. The Worst Choice Has got to be in the race for State Representative in the 54th district Incumbent Democrat Kirk Proflt has represented Torn Monaghan in a bid to strike down the requirement that pizza drivers get chauffers' licenses. He is also a close friend of those who have run Eastern Michigan University into the ground. Tïiis year, Proflt's taking the "correct" position on the area's hottest issue - he's "leading the flght" against Envotech's proposed toxic waste incinerator and it's Wayne Disposal subsidiary's tainted Arkona Road landflll. Less than one year ago, however, he took $1,000 from Wayne Disposal's PAC. He has taken several other contributions from BrowningFerris Industry's PAC, another corporate polluter's campaign fund. He has also had some ofhis mailings paid forby Friends ofYpsilanti Township, one of the township machine's campaign committees, which is heavily subsidized by Wayne Disposal Envotech and BFI. Ifyou want a theocratic regime to flll the jails and close the abortion clinics, you might appreciate Proflt's opponent, Avery Heningburg. We advise a wri te-in vote for Donald Duck.

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